Department of Biology
Effects of rhamnolipids on cell surface hydrophobicity of PAH degrading bacteria and the biodegradation of phenanthrene
The effects of rhamnolipids produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC9027 on the cell surface hydrophobicity (CSH) and the biodegradation of phenanthrene by two thermophilic bacteria, Bacillus subtilis BUM and P. aeruginosa P-CG3, and mixed inoculation of these two strains were investigated. Rhamnolipids significantly reduced the CSH of the hydrophobic BUM and resulted in a noticeable lag period in the biodegradation. However, they significantly increased the CSH and enhanced the biodegradation for the hydrophilic P-CG3. In the absence of rhamnolipids, a mixed inoculation of BUM and P-CG3 removed 82.2% of phenanthrene within 30. days and the major contributor of the biodegradation was BUM (rapid degrader) while the growth of P-CG3 (slow degrader) was suppressed. Addition of rhamnolipids promoted the surfactant-mediated-uptake of phenanthrene by P-CG3 but inhibited the uptake through direct contact by BUM. This resulted in the domination of P-CG3 during the initial stage of biodegradation and enhanced the biodegradation to 92.7%. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
Biodegradation, Biosurfactant, PAHs, Phenanthrene, Rhamnolipids
Source Publication Title
Link to Publisher's Edition
Zhao, Z., Selvam, A., & Wong, J. (2011). Effects of rhamnolipids on cell surface hydrophobicity of PAH degrading bacteria and the biodegradation of phenanthrene. Bioresource Technology, 102 (5), 3999-4007. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2010.11.088